Health Advocates Demand More State and Federal Funding for Public Hospitals

April 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 leaders joined health care activists and Public Advocate Letitia James, City Council member Vanessa Gibson and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to demand the federal and state governments provide more funding for the city’s cash strapped network of public hospitals. NYC Health + Hospitals face a $2 billion deficit in 2019. “Our state and federal government must do their part to ensure New Yorkers access to high quality comprehensive health care,” said Brewer during a press conference April 14 in front of City Hall. The activists also cautioned against any attempts by the city to resolve the hospital’s budget crisis by privatizing services. “Privatizing these desperately needed resources will not solve our problems,” said James. “And it has proven to cost taxpayers more money.” Ralph Palladino, 2nd VP of Local 1549 and a longtime health [More...]

Bill Clarke Always Delivers

April 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

  By ALFREDO ALVARADO City workers are familiar with employees who anxiously wait for that special date when they’ll retire. They count the days left and announce it to anyone who will listen and have the date circled on their calendar. Bill Clark has been on the job since 1959, turned 76 on Feb.10 but doesn’t mention retirement. For almost six decades he’s worked as a Loader and Handler for the Dept. of Education, delivering meals and kitchen supplies all over the city to make sure hungry school children are feed. Williams leaves his Bronx apartment every morning before dawn when it’s pitch black for the train ride to the industrial section of Long Island City in Queens to DOE headquarters. He joins a crew of 20 Loaders and Handlers to start loading the trucks at 6 a.m. then hit the road to make their deliveries. Given his seniority, the 76-year-old Clark could stay in a [More...]

New York City’s Retirement System Pulls Out of Hedge Funds

April 14, 2016 // 0 Comments

After months of urging by District Council 37 and others, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) voted today to pull its hedge fund investments, now totaling more than $1.4 billion. DC 37 Executive Director and NYCERS trustee Henry Garrido introduced the resolution to divest, noting the funds charge enormous fees for high-risk investments yet yield tepid results. “As stewards of the retirement security of public employees of modest means, our role is not to facilitate luxury purchases for high-rolling hedge fund managers,” Garrido said. “It is incumbent upon the trustees to ensure that the pension funds are invested securely and responsibly. Today, we took a necessary step to do just that.” The NYCERS vote follows similar actions to pull hedge fund investments by pension funds in California and Illinois. An American Federation of Teachers analysis of 11 [More...]

A Call to Close the Gender Wage Gap

April 13, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 joined Public Advocate Leticia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and the advocacy group PowHer New York at the 10th annual Equal Pay Day rally at City Hall on Tuesday April 12. Supporting equal pay for women was soccer champion Megan Rapinoe, who filed a complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation for wage discrimination. Even as the women’s team won the World Cup, the league pays female players one-fourth what male soccer players earn. “We’re demanding economic justice because women are still in the red,” said Powher New York leader Beverly Neufeld. She and City Council members Laurie Combo and Helen Rosenthal sponsored the rally. In April, New York state lawmakers passed nine bills that help women, including equal pay, paid parental leave — which was first proposed in 1999 — and the $15 minimum wage. “These are all pieces of the puzzle [More...]

Hillary Clinton for President

April 13, 2016 // 1 Comment

We urge our members and retirees to cast their vote for Hillary Clinton in the April 19 Democratic primary in New York. Clinton is arguably the most qualified candidate for U.S. President in modern times. Throughout her long career in public service, she has always been a stalwart friend of labor, including our union. We do appreciate the personal integrity of Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic race, Sen. Bernie Sanders. His deep commitment to working people is unwavering. We credit him with putting economic inequality at the center of our national political discourse. But we believe Clinton is the stronger candidate because of her greater experience and electability. In their debates, Clinton and Sanders have engaged in a substantive and civil discussion of such issues as tax fairness, health care, the minimum wage, Social Security and U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. [More...]

Two Parks Workers Save a Woman Assaulted by her Knife-wielding Boyfriend

April 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS On an otherwise quiet afternoon, two City Parks Workers protected a desperate and bloodied woman fleeing with her young children from a knife-wielding attacker in the Port Richmond section of Staten Island on March 24. “We were about to finish work when we heard a woman screaming for help,” said Edwin Medina,  a City Parks Worker in District 1 of the city Dept. of Parks and Recreation for five years. “She was running towards us, terrified and drenched in blood wearing just a tee shirt,” Medina said. “She had a toddler tucked under each arm. We ran to help her and rushed her into the truck to safety. Then we called 911.” “At first I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said his coworker, Mamadou N’doye. “Then it registered. We had to think fast because we didn’t know what was next, whether the man had a gun or what.” “They were all in [More...]

Labor and Faith Outreach Steps Up Spring Efforts

April 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO The New York AFSCME Labor and Faith Community Outreach program will be stepping up its outdoor organizing efforts this spring, delivering books to school children, distributing healthy produce in communities and helping to get out the vote for the November election. Last year, activists from the group distributed more than 4,000 books at the annual Harlem Book Fair and joined forces with the City Harvest Mobil Markets to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to people in need of fresh produce. “The vision of this program is to support DC 37 members in organizing around common challenges impacting them through the faith- and community-based organizations they belong to,” said DC 37 Field Operations Director Barbara Ingram-Edmonds during the group’s first spring meeting, on April 4, at union headquarters. At the meeting, the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther [More...]

Mayor’s Plan Offers More Affordable Housing in East New York

April 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES and MIKE LEE DC 37 released an analysis of the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for East New York’s housing showing that proposed rent levels for new affordable housing to be significantly less expensive than apartments currently renting in that neighborhood. “The status quo is just not working — it’s leaving East New York without the tools or investments needed to protect against rising rents,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on April 7. “We looked hard at the facts. And the facts are that under the city’s plan, East New York will become more affordable for working men and women such as our members.” The DC 37 report shows union members and other working families who live in the Brooklyn neighborhood are struggling with rising rents. Rents in the neighborhood rose 26 percent between 2000 and 2013. About 40 percent of residents in [More...]

DC 37 organizing meetings and trainings set for April

April 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Organizing Dept. is continuing its series of work site meetings during April to inform members about their many union benefits. The meetings will take place during the hours noted below. The meetings will be at City University of New York and Dept. of Education work sites. The department will also hold two activist training sessions. [More...]

Activists Block $800,000 State Budget Cut to CUNY and city hospitals

April 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO In the state budget passed on April 1, lawmakers nixed plans to eliminate nearly $800 million in the state’s financial support for NYC Health + Hospitals and the City University of New York. The original proposal would have shifted much of the costs for NYC Health + Hospitals and CUNY from the state to the city. The loss of about $300 million in Medicaid assistance would have created a big hole in the city’s budget for the NYC Health + Hospitals, which is already struggling with a deep deficit. If the CUNY cuts had gone through, the university would have faced campus closings, according to CUNY Chancellor James Milliken. “This would have created an enormous financial burden on the city and a devastating impact on its public colleges and public health-care system,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “We couldn’t let that happen.” DC 37 [More...]